The future can be pretty bleak for kids growing up in poverty, but Coach Bobby Selkin is making a significant impact on the lives of at-risk African American boys in Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s transforming their lives with a path to college through an unlikely sport known for its lack of diversity, lacrosse.
Bobby spends a lot of time volunteering at Charlotte Secondary School, and a lot of the kids who attended the school are at the poverty level. While spending so much time at the school, Bobby got to know a lot of the kids there who unfortunately came from really poor, unstable situations. This inspired him to give these kids something to do after school.
The school's athletic director approached Bobby about starting an extracurricular after-school program, playing lacrosse. The only thing missing was a coach... Bobby accepted the opportunity!
"Most of the kids had never played before, and we were playing against kids who’d played all their lives," says Bobby. "At first, we were just awful, but, basically, my attitude was, “I’m going to teach these kids the work ethic it takes to succeed in life, and if I can teach them that work ethic, then they’ll be very successful in lacrosse and that will translate into their careers."
4-years after the program started, the Charlotte Secondary School Lacrosse team went from being the worst team in North Carolina to winning the state championship last year! The story of this lacrosse team was so inspiring, ESPN featured the team in one of their film documentaries.
"...the documentary is called “Crossroads.” A film crew followed our team for two seasons, and it gives you an inside look into not only the challenges and triumphs of our team but also the close relationships that we developed. Many of the kids have become like family to me. In this process, many of these kids have moved in with my family. We’ve had from time-to-time, 3 to 4 kids living with us. You know coming from unstable living situations and moving in with us has changed their lives. It’s been tremendous for them, and it’s been tremendous for me. It’s changed so many kids lives!"
Steve Harvey's friends at Dick's Sporting Goods heard about Coach Bobby and his lacrosse team and wanted help! The Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation is donating $5,000 to the team!
Donations will go towards funding education. The foundation purchases textbooks for the kids in college who cannot afford it and they also purchase books for kids in middle school and high school who cannot afford their books, like the SAT prep books. The fund also helps kids with housing costs who often can’t afford to stay in college if they don’t have financial help with their living situations and it even pays for high schoolers’ application fees for colleges.
If you would like to donate to help kids from Charlotte Secondary School, please visit: https://www.fftc.org/
The film "Crossroads" featuring Coach Bobby and his Charlotte Secondary lacrosse team is available to watch on ESPN Plus.